LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Orange County District Attorney’s office warned citizens Tuesday against falling prey to an IRS phone scam timed to coincide with tax season.
In the scam, fraudulent callers posing as IRS agents try to dupe unsuspecting citizens into handing over payment information.
The D.A.’s office became intimately aware of the scam when the office’s lead fraud investigator, Damon Tucker, received a fraudulent call and put the scammer on the spot.
When asked by the scammer for his personal information, Tucker handed over the phone number 867-5309 — you know, from the Tommy Tutone song.
The investigator then turned a tad more adversarial.
“How do you guys rip off people from their money?” Tucker asked.
The fraudster was noticeably taken aback, but answered the question. He said he targets immigrants, the elderly and young women. He said the scam is successful, since Americans are easy targets. The scammer said he calls Americans “vegetables.”
The D.A.’s office is advising citizens to never give personal information to a suspicious caller over the phone.
The IRS says it will never demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
The IRS says it will also never threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to arrest someone for not paying.